Hummingbirds like bright flowers and if you are wondering if hummingbirds like hibiscus plants you are right because they definitely do!
All hummingbirds like hibiscus plants because of their large colorful flowers that make a lot of nectar that helps satisfy the hummingbird’s nutrition requirements.
Read on if you want to know more reasons why these tiny birds love these large flowers. You can even find out how to keep them coming back to your garden. You will get all the answers here about hummingbirds and hibiscus.
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Do Hibiscus Flowers Attract Hummingbirds?
Yes, they do. Hummingbirds are attracted to hibiscus for a range of reasons other than the fact that it is a flower! The major reason is nectar, something the hibiscus is rich in.
Do Hummingbirds Prefer Hibiscus?
Hibiscus has large flowers in eye-catching colors. They have a sweet scent and flower throughout the year. The shape and flower cup are easily accessible to the hummingbird.
Besides, when you take the size of the hibiscus into consideration, it can be anywhere between 2 to 5 times the size of the hummingbird!
A flower this much bigger than a bird is bound to provide an exciting amount of nectar and pollen. This is the truth! Secondly, the colors stand out to these birds due to their bright appearance, especially red color which is the number one color to which hummingbirds are drawn.
Why Do Hummingbirds Like Hibiscus?
Hummingbirds need half their weight in nectar, in addition, they need to feed every 15 to 20 minutes. They have a high metabolism and need to feed throughout the day to survive. They need to visit a lot of flowers in a day to satisfy this hunger!
The hummingbird has an insatiable appetite and the hibiscus provides a meal they can’t turn down.
The hibiscus flower has five petals, and when fully opened they curl back fully exposing the stamen. This is very convenient for the hummingbird as they can hover while sticking their beak into the stamen and suck up the nectar.
The long thin tube that sticks out in the middle of the flower is known as the stamen or stigmas depending on if it is a male or female flower. The base of this stamen is where the nectar is located.
So it’s quite an easy job for the hummingbird to stick its long beak and even longer tongue to drink the nectar. Protrusion of the stamen/stigma of the flower will help the hummingbird locate the nectar.
The hibiscus flower, depending on the cultivar can be anything from 4 to 20 cm in width! This creates a large attraction to the hibiscus as it is one of the largest flowers on which the hummingbird feeds.
Obviously, due to its larger size than other garden flowers, hummingbirds will find these flowers more enticing than other smaller and duller flowers. So, if you have red hibiscus flowers, you can bet that the hummingbirds will be there first!
The hummingbirds dine solely on nectar and occasionally on pollen if it gets stuck on their tongue by accident.
Luckily, hibiscus flowers are a steady source of both of these components. It actually works out for hummingbirds who eat the nectar but leave the pollen for other insects such as bees, butterflies, and possibly ants.
You have probably heard about people leaving out feeders for hummingbirds. Gardeners and hummingbird enthusiasts sometimes put out sugar solution feeders for hummingbirds, and they love it!
In tropical and subtropical climates the hibiscus flower throughout the year.
In other climates, it will flower during the warmer months, depending on the cultivar. They are available in a wide range of colors and sizes too. You can depend on the hibiscus to produce flowers every day.
Thus, they can attract hummingbirds throughout the year! You can mix them with other flowering plants that produce flowers year-round.
The Symbiosis Between Hummingbird And Hibiscus
There is a relationship between the hibiscus and hummingbirds. Let us have a look at this unique partnership.
Did You Know Hummingbirds Help Hibiscus Evolve?
The hummingbird visits the hibiscus only for nectar but this benefits both the hummingbird and the hibiscus. How, you might ask?
By visiting the hibiscus, the hummingbird receives sweet nectar. By visiting several different hibiscus flowers, the hummingbirds could be helping in the fertilization of the flowers. Apart from this, the hummingbird also helps the hibiscus to evolve.
Plants have to constantly reinvent themselves to stay alive! The same applies to the hibiscus. Perhaps the constant need to evolve to suit the hummingbirds’ needs is the reason why this flower is so perfectly shaped to accommodate the hummingbird!
This exact reason may also be why hibiscus makes so much nectar and is brightly colored to attract insects and birds that help it pollinate other plants!
Is There A Variety Or Color That Hummingbirds Like Best?
Hibiscus plants appear in two main varieties, tropical and perennial. People who don’t know about these two variants would be unsure which one is better for attracting hummingbirds.
The truth is, that hummingbirds are attracted to all hibiscus flowers, irrespective of variety. Both varieties produced similar flower sizes, shapes, and nectar compositions.
But, when it comes down to flower color, there is one color that stands out from the rest. Red hibiscus flowers are most attractive to hummingbirds, followed by bright colors continuing along the color gradient from red to violet!
Also, you may want to plant the flowers close together regardless of their color as the hummingbirds will be able to easily visit them due to close proximity. They are also attracted to flowers based on the scent of sweet nectar!
What Else Does Hibiscus Attract?
Naturally, whatever the hummingbirds find attractive about the hibiscus will also excite a few other garden visitors. Plant pollinators are also invited by these brightly colored flowers that produce both pollen and nectar.
Pollen and nectar act as food for a range of insects including the Hummingbird.
Hibiscus also attracts insect pollinators like bees, butterflies, and bumblebees. This is important since these insects also collect pollen on their bodies and carry it to other plants to carry out the fertilization process.
However, note that hibiscus can also attract some pests! Aphids and spider mites can become a hassle you will have to deal with. Also, wherever there are aphids and a steady flow of pollen and nectar, there are high chances of ants as well!
Other Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds visit no less than 1000 flowers a day, meaning they have to feed every 10 – 15 mins!
So, if you want the hummingbirds to keep visiting your garden, you have to give them a reason to. This can be done by planting a lot of flowering plants that are able to sustain their enormous food requirements.
This prompts you to think about what other flowers hummingbirds like to feed from. Here are just a few alternatives that you can look into planting along with hibiscus plants.
Daylily, Iris, Lily, Foxglove, Petunia, Desert candle, Coral bells, Catmint, Butterfly bush, and Bee balm.
What else can you do? Here are some other techniques to invite and keep hummingbirds in your garden:
- Adding a bird bath, especially during summer. Top up the bowl with fresh water every day
- Hang a feeder (insect feeder as protein is a part of their diet)
- Plant as many red-flowered plants as possible as hummingbirds find the color red highly attractive
- A variety of flowers that produce a lot of nectar and pollen is also advisable
- Plant small and thick shrubs that offer good cover and perch areas
- Offering a safe place without possible predators would be more appealing to these small birds
You can probably tell by now that hibiscus flowers are among the most favorite flowers on which hummingbirds feed. These flowers offer multiple advantages to hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds like Hibiscus plants because their flowers produce large quantities of nectar, are bright in color and are several times bigger than the bird. Not to mention that the design of the flower also makes it very easy to find and access the nectar.
So, if you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you can plant hibiscus plants as they are a sure way to attract these tiny yet appealing birds.
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What is a hummingbird’s favorite flower?
Hummingbirds prefer to feed from flowers that are red, or brightly colored and have a tubular form factor. It is easier to draw nectar from flowers with this structure. This includes the following flowers: bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines.
What is the best hanging plant to attract hummingbirds?
Hanging flowering plants that attract hummingbirds are petunias, impatiens, fuchsias, nasturtiums, and trumpet vines.